I've been out and about, here, there and everywhere. In the town it's the local arts festival. The biggest boy and I went to hear Simon King (wildlife cameraman and presenter) give a talk, which was pretty good.
I've taken a few sprigs of lilac from bushes down the back lane. And found a handful more lilac bushes in no mans land that I have my eye on. I do love lilacs, they have that brief moment of glory before the main flowers of summer get going. Flowers are still a miracle to be gushed over at this time of year I think, after months of mud and bare branches.
Down by the stream it is suddenly waist high with green things and cow parsley. The littlest boy fell in this evening. He was the only one to arrive at cubs dripping sludge from the knees down. By the end they are all usually pretty grubby, he just got in first.
The little community orchard has grass two feet high and a big old cider apple tree absolutely thick with blossom. I sometimes wonder why they keep the two old trees at the end of the orchard, but when I saw it in blossom I realised how spectacular it is. And I think there may be a little cider pressing done at the end of the season as well. It is cider country after all, or near enough to cider country. (For American friends, cider over here is alcoholic. If you just want apple juice, you need to ask for apple juice, otherwise you'll be falling over. If you want to be falling over, ask for rough cider. They pop a dead rat in that to get the fermentation going properly and it's pretty lethal by all accounts. I wouldn't know.)
I did the bird survey with the biggest boy down on the river yesterday evening. It was glorious there. It sometimes seems that 9/10s of the time it is freezing and deep in mud, but yesterday made up for it all. There were swallows flying overhead and a whimbrel out on the mud flats.
Over the road from us, swifts are building their nest. I could watch them for hours, swooping over the road, so fast, so agile.
This week at Cubs it was nettle soup making. The littlest boy absolutely loved it and wants it for his birthday tea. Everything at the moment is all about the Big Day, which is less than a month away now. He has asked for a pogo stick but mercifully has currently forgotten about the axe that he usually asks for. I imagine you could do a little damage with a pogo stick, but not as much as with an axe. (Although I fear he will be thinking, Challenge accepted.) Happily we don't have any large plate glass sliding doors here. So what could possibly go wrong? I'll let you know.